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Object Name: Desk and tools used by miniaturist John Ramage
Date: 1777-1794
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Medium: Mahogany
Dimensions: Overall: 42 3/4 x 27 3/4 x 21 1/2 in. ( 108.6 x 70.5 x 54.6 cm )
Description: Mahogany slant-top desk with top opening in two parts to reveal a center section fitted for tools; working surface flanked on either side by three tiered drawers above three stacked drawers; below is a central drawer over three smaller drawers in line, all of which are flanked by a deep drawer on one side and a compartment with a door made to look identical to the drawer front on the other side; scalloped apron; square legs and stretchers; approximately 165 tools housed separately.
Credit Line: Gift of an anonymous donor
Object Number: 1947.461
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This desk and set of goldsmithing tools belonged to acclaimed miniaturist John Ramage (ca. 1748-1802), who was active in New York City between 1777 and 1794. The tools were used by the artist to create and decorate the delicate cases that frame his elegant portraits. The Historical Society's extensive collection of miniatures, comprising nearly 800 examples, includes thirteen portraits by Ramage.


Purchased by the donors from the Hobby House, Hollander Brothers, 103 West 43rd Street.


"Group Dynamics: Family Portraits and Scenes of Everyday Life at the New-York Historical Society," New-York Historical Society, May 5-September 15, 2006.

"Tokens of Affection: The Portrait Miniature in America," The Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 16, 1990 - February 22, 1991.
"Gaelic Gotham: The Irish in New York," The Museum of the City of New York, 1996-1997.